Interview with ‘The Windmill Girls’ – Part two

Katie Bernstein

To celebrate the recent opening of Mrs Henderson Presents at the Noel Coward Theatre in London, I spoke to three of ‘The Windmill Girls’ Lizzy Connolly, Lauren Hood and Katie Bernstein to find out how they’ve found baring all for this Great British show, this week speaking with the lovely Katie who plays Peggy

How has the show been going for you?

It’s going really well, especially with a new piece where you’re not 100% sure what people are going to think of it, but we seem to be getting some good reactions.

MRS HENDERSON PRESENTS. Tracie Bennett 'Mrs Laura Henderson' and company. Photo by Paul ColtasYour character in particular is very confident, how have you had to prepare for the role?

In exploring the way Peggy speaks, because I’m Northern and not posh, so it’s been interesting! But it’s really fun to do something that completely isn’t you. I don’t know what else I’ve done other than just trust what Terry (Johnson) has written and try to be confident with it, because I guess that’s what the character is – a bit sassy.

How do you cope with so many performances every week?

I guess we’re only just getting used to the schedule, so it’s just getting it into your body. It still feels fresh at the moment, even though you do it eight times a week. Things do change every day and the way that you do them because your mood changes from day to day, so you enjoy it in a different way each time.

What’s the highlight of the show for you?

I love the gallery scene where the three of us have the song in the frame, because I think it’s the first time we get a little introduction to our friendship within the show and who we are as people. There are loads of different moments for different reasons though, like I love the first nude tableaux because it’s always frightening but I feel like it captures what the show is about.

Do you ever get stage fright?

I wouldn’t say stage fright but there is the odd time, because you’re repeating yourself a lot, when you second guess what’s about to come out of your mouth and you’re sometimes not even sure if it’s going to come out! But you always find it.MRS HENDERSON PRESENTS. Katie Bernstein 'Peggy', Lauren Hood 'Vera', Emma Williams 'Maureen' and Lizzy Connolly 'Doris'. Photo by Paul Coltas

Do you find Peggy an empowering role to play?

Yes very much so, just because it’s not something we feel natural doing – the nudity element – and there is this war going on and you know that within the story these girls are doing this to help the men who are coming back from war, to distract them. So it is empowering for us to relive a bit of history.

Do you have any roles that you aspire to play in the future?

There isn’t one in particular. If it’s got a good story behind it and there’s a good opportunity for acting, whether it be comedy or whether it be Shakespeare, if it’s got some meat behind it that’s what excites me. But we’ll see what happens, I’m just going to throw myself into this and hopefully will get to work again after!

Click here to buy tickets for Mrs Henderson Presents.

Images: Paul Coltas

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